HOSTPLUS is to allow other super funds and self-managed super funds (SMSFs) to invest in its recently launched IFM – Australian Infrastructure option.

The $18 billion superfund has recently transitioned to a pooled superannuation trust (PTS) structure which will allow others to invest in its direct investment option (DIO) platform.

David Elia, chief executive at HOSTPLUS, told Investment Magazine this will happen towards the end of the year.

The IFM – Australian Infrastructure option joins a list of 21 other funds in its DIO.

“We’ve got quite a number of actively engaged members who like creating their own portfolios, albeit I’m not one of them – I’m in the HOSTPLUS balanced option – but we do have members who are very keen to put in place strategies that are specific to their own end requirements,” Elia said.

Out of one million HOSTPLUS members 30,000 have actively chosen options. Typically these have been members with significantly higher account balances than the average. As a number have sizeable assets outside the super system, Elia believes they will seek to use this option to gain access to new asset classes.

The IFM – Australian Infrastructure option provides long-term direct investment in a diversified pool of Australian infrastructure assets, such as airports, seaports, rail terminals, toll roads, power plants and utilities like gas and water.

HOSTPLUS has also extended its Choiceplus option to members in the pension phase. In a statement the fund said one of the major advantages of doing this is that as members move from accumulation to the retirement phase they will not have to sell the individual stocks or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

“It’s always been one of the espoused benefits of SMSFs that members would not be required to crystallise their gains or losses as they move into the transition phase going into retirement,” Elia said. “For us now, it’s literally like switching a button. You move from a taxable environment to a tax-free environment.”

The Choiceplus option provides many of the attributes of a self-managed super fund, without the cost, risk and administrative burden, and enables members the ablity to invest directly into companies in the S&P/ASX 300 Index and ETFs covering developed, emerging and commodity markets and Term Deposits.

When asked if the fund was going to bring in any more options Elia said they were certainly not pursuing a retail based strategy which have 100 or 200 individual investment choice options.

“We’ve been extremely careful in the way we’ve gone about rolling out our investment choice options, trying to really understand and meet the needs of our membership.

“Our membership would be very pleased with the array of options they have,” he said.

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